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The best games of E3: CNET’s favorites from the virtual show of 2021

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The best games of E3: CNET’s favorites from the virtual show of 2021

Elden Ring was one of the highlights of E3.

Of software

Metroid. Elden ring. Forza. Zelda. Avatar. Wario! The first fully virtual E3 it’s over, and there were a lot of important revelations and announcements. Yes, PS5 other Xbox Series X Consoles | S they’re still hard to find, but the payoff looks better than ever for those who manage to get one, and Nintendo switch the owners also have a lot to look forward to.

The main festivities began on Thursday with Summer games festival, where Elden Ring was shown, and ended Tuesday with Nintendo direct, during which we were able to glimpse more than The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2. However, there were many good things in between, many of which make 2021 a much more exciting year for video games than it seemed.

Here are CNET’s favorite games from E3.

Metroid Dread

Mark Serrels, Editorial Director

The surprises of E3 live longer in my memory, and Nintendo’s Metroid Dread Announcement Meets all requirements.

Relive a neglected series that I am obsessed with. It was a real surprise. In our wildest dreams we expected a Metroid Prime 4 appearance, but no one considered that Nintendo could have a different Metroid game in development.

And then there’s that release date: October 2021! It’s so close. It reminds me of E3 when Nintendo surprised everyone with A Link Between Worlds, an all-new Zelda with the early ’90s Super Nintendo aesthetic. That game ruled, and everything I’ve seen of Metroid Dread seems to rule, too. Like A Link Between Worlds, he captures the nostalgia but seems determined to move on, breaking tradition and boundaries.

It retains the atmosphere of Metroid, the unique and skillful movement, but is also brave enough to experiment with lofty new concepts, seamlessly switching from 2D to 3D. It seems to have a lot in common with another game heavily inspired by Super Metroid: the one from 2009. Shadow complex. That is good.

Also the developers, Mercury Steam Entertainment, produced the dramatically underrated Metroid: Samus Returns in 2017. That will undoubtedly have prepared them for the arduous task of creating a game like Metroid Dread. I can not wait.

Psychonauts 2

Ashley Esqueda, Senior Video Producer

See I backtracked Psychonauts 2 the second literal it was announced as a crowdfunding effort in late 2015. That’s not a typo. I’ve been patiently waiting for the sequel to one of my all-time favorite games, and now, almost 6 years after Tim Schafer announced it at The Game Awards, It is almost here.

Raz and the gang of psychonauts are back and they’ve never looked better. It really looks like Microsoft’s acquisition of Double Fine gave the development team the time (and funds) to be able to make the game without major compromises, and it shows – the trailer that was released during the Xbox / Bethesda Game Showcase. overflowed with the same. strange quirk that turned the original into a cult classic.

If you are a fan of Psychonauts, you are already over the top. If you haven’t had the pleasure of joining the best psychic agents in the business, get ready for a massive infusion of platforming joy. August can’t come soon enough!

The outer worlds 2

Daniel Van Boom, News Editor

The trailer for The outer worlds 2 got me. Do not misunderstand; He would have played the game anyway. The alternate history lore of the original is very much my thing, and it was a very charming game. But the trailer for its sequel, which cuts through the tropes of video game marketing and seemingly leans towards the fact that the game is in an early stage of development, as evidenced by its lack of a release window, makes me hope that take the formula from The Outer World. and make it more peculiar and different.

And if there’s one thing video games need, it’s different.

Stalker 2

Dan Ackerman, Senior Managing Editor

Maybe it’s because I’ve been to so many E3 shows, starting in 1999 (yes, the same year that Moonbase Alpha broke free from Earth’s orbit), but this totally virtual show felt very light on the game. I saw a lot of pre-rendered trailer footage with a lot of painfully vague voiceovers, but a lot less of how actual games will look and play. In his in-person incarnation, at least some great games would have been playable, even if it was only for a limited audience.

That being said, I’m a fan of a bold visual style that doesn’t seem like it’s repurposing the same playbook as everyone else. Replaced, the pixel-art adventure platformer set in an alternate 1980s gave me that itch.

I’d already forgotten that The Outer Worlds 2 was announced at E3, but thanks to my CNET colleague Dan Van Boom for reminding me, because it jumps to the top of my list as well. The original was an underrated classic of great writing and design, and it was one of the pandemic games I went back to for a few dozen more hours.

I’ll give the big budget action game a thumbs up Stalker 2, actually the fourth game in the series. I love the dark themes, the multiple endings and the mysterious air of the series. But more than that, it shares an inescapable connection with the amazing 1979 Russian film of the same name (based on a 1972 Russian novel Roadside Picnic), with many of the same themes, though no gunshots or monsters. In the film, directed by Andrei Tarkovsky (the same guy who directed Solaris), a Stalker explores an enigmatic radiation-filled landscape in search of a powerful secret at its center. I love that despite feeling very different, the games and the movie share some core themes, and it gives it that great depth that lurks below the surface.

Elden Ring

Oscar González, reporter

There was something magical about seeing Elden Ring. It’s been years since there were proper footage of the game and just a series of events where I was hoping to hear something about it. Then came the Summer Game Fest Kick-Off, and there it was.

As a fan of FromSoftware games, I was trying to capture every little detail in that video. From how the hero, called Dull, moved into battle to the summoning spirit horse that can shoot mountains, the trailer deliberately contains subtle clues that fans can analyze.

It’s also amazing to see a Soulsborne game in an open world. Previous titles take players across a vast land, but everything is limited. It looks like FromSoftware is delivering an experience fans have longed for, by allowing players to traverse a landscape without many walls to keep us going.

And then finally from the enemies to the story, you can feel the essence of George RR Martin oozing out of it. Lords and kings are discussed with a chief who has dozens of hands attached to him, giving him a haunting and ominous look. This could be the game that finally puts From Software and director Hidetaka Miyezaki among the top echelon of video game creators.

Indie dominance

Jackson Ryan, Science Editor

All the big AAA titles generate the biggest buzz at E3 and for good reason: Metroid is coming in October! Elden Ring has a big monster with a bell in its guts and it looks amazing! Starfield is Fallout scrolls in Space and will dominate November 2022! But Digital E3 has helped rack up a lot more airtime for one-of-a-kind indie titles that used to be inundated by Reggie Fils-Aime memes and Keanu cameos.

What I really loved about E3 2021 was seeing several independent developers legitimately reveal beautifull video game. Death’s Door seems to be exactly my shit. It has an isometric Hades / Zelda feel and is about a raven, an animal close and dear to my heart. It’s only a month away from launch, so the ad train has left the station for me.

Then there’s Replaced, which showed up on the Xbox storefront and was a total surprise. Its neon pixel art dystopia ranks it among the most visually stunning games on the show. Planet of Lana comes right behind. The Somerville reveal trailer featured a world that I am very excited to visit. It’s another dystopia / catastrophe type video game, but the trailer hints that it will be a little deeper than “Survive.” And then you have Sable, a magnificent open world title clearly inspired by Breath of the Wild, with an art style of its own. It looks like a comic set on a sandy planet from Star Wars.

E3, at best, is a window: it offers a glimpse into the future. This year, that spirit has been best represented with charming and ambitious indie titles.

WarioWare: get it together

Scott Stein, General Editor

Let’s be clear here: the weirder Nintendo gets, the better. Nintendo dives into its strange game from time to time, not long enough for my liking. Games like Rhythm Heaven and WarioWare they are my favorites. I love surprises. I love the unexpected.

Nintendo’s new Switch-exclusive WarioWare game coming this fall is an instant game to me, because it seems like the kind of wacky, quick-reflexes, and short-attention span things that make me the happiest. No complicated RPG stories or weapon trees to update.

WarioWare: Get It Together also focuses on two players and seems to have the collaborative / competitive vibe that made games like Snipperclips and even 1-2 Switch delightful. Yes, I said 1-2 Switch is lovely. Nintendo was on to something with that board game-like multiplayer launch title, even if its execution was mixed. I. play switch games with my family, and I’ve been desperate for more instant and fun experiences. WarioWare looks like it could be that game.

Am I building too many expectations on WarioWare? Absolutely. But the more bizarre games Nintendo releases on the Switch, the greater the chances that at least some will be amazing. I’d rather have a bunch of experiments than a few well-crafted and completely predictable studio creations. WarioWare, my body is ready.

The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild 2

Sean Keane, Staff Reporter

With a vague release window “2022”, this one might take a while, but it doesn’t bother me too much. I have no doubt that the sequel to Breath of the Wild will be another rich Zelda adventure that will stay with me forever. The trailer makes it look like Link will be taking to the skies and floating islands of Hyrule (it behooves 2011’s Skyward Sword to have a new Switch version next month) and we get hints of new warp and repelling powers. Yes please.

And I’m sure Metroid Dread will fill some of the waiting months wonderfully.

Redfall

Nicole Archer, Social Media Producer

Sleepy coastal cities with dark secrets! Vampire cults! Hot people with telekinesis and creepy crows! It’s like this game was made for me. Of course, I’m well aware that the actual Refall game might not live up to the masterpiece that was the cinematic trailer, but it looks incredibly promising. Consider my expectations HIGH. He has charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent, something I haven’t seen in a long time. Dishonored 1 and 2 are some of my favorite games and Prey was ridiculously fun, I can’t wait to see what Arkane Studios does with Redfall.

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